“She was later asked for more money"
A 26-year-old Indian woman was allegedly scammed out of Rs. 3.64 Lakh (£3,600) by a man who posed as a potential groom from the UK.
According to Bhandup Police, the woman was contacted online on January 18, 2023, by a man who identified himself as a member of the social media organisation, United Kingdom Marriage Bureau, to which she was also subscribed to.
The apparent groom said his name was Rahul Khanna and told the woman that he was working in the UK passport office.
In a statement, police said: “They later started chatting on WhatsApp and that man told her that his mother liked her a lot and they could get married soon.
“The man then told the complainant that he was sending a gift to his sister for her birthday along with a gift for the complainant as well.
“The gift packet, he said, contained the latest iPhone, some US dollars and a few clothes.”
Afterwards, a “courier firm” began calling the woman and demanding that she pay customs duty.
She was informed that the parcel will get to her in a few hours once she paid the requested sum.
But the courier company called her again within an hour, saying that the item had been discovered by the authorities and that she would need to pay them because it included a significant amount of US dollars.
The woman agreed to pay the sum of money.
Police statements added: “She was later asked for more money in the name of currency exchange charges.
“After paying the demanded amount, the woman again received a call claiming that the vehicles carrying the parcel had a breakdown.
“The woman paid for the vehicle repair charges as well.”
She got a call two days later requesting her to pay tax on the newly imported iPhone.
A policeman stated: “After this, Khanna called the complainant and told her that he had lost all his money to the fraud associates of the courier firm executive.
“He told her that the Indian authorities had decided to send the parcel back to the UK and that would be a problem for him as he had not informed his family about sending gifts to her.
“He then asked her to pay Rs 2.70 lakh to the courier executive.”
“As the woman was unwilling to pay the amount, she was asked to pay half the amount on February 15. She accordingly paid the amount in three transactions.”
Later, the woman realised she had been scammed by the supposed groom and reported the fraud to the police.
The police concluded: “We have registered an offence and written to mobile network companies and banks to get details to get the location of the accused.”